Cape Town – Police Minister Nathi Nhleko has reiterated that he stands by his Nkandla report, insisting that it was not proved incorrect.
At a press briefing on Wednesday on the Hawks' investigation into the Sars 'rogue unit', he responded to questions on his credibility following his decision that President Jacob Zuma did not have to pay for multimillion upgrades at his private Nkandla homestead.
Last year, Nhleko presented a video-assisted explanation on why Zuma did not have to pay any money towards the non-security upgrades at his private home.
"The report was researched and if it is refuted, it requires that research be conducted. That hasn't happened," he said on Wednesday. "There has been no judgement against the report. It has not been set aside or found to be incorrect."
Last month Zuma's lawyer, Jeremy Gauntlett, conceded in the Constitutional Court that findings made by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela on the upgrades to Nkandla were binding, and that no reliance should be placed on Nhleko's report.
The Economic Freedom Fighters argued that Zuma failed to comply with the remedial action set out by Madonsela, and wanted the court to make an order compelling him to do so.
DA MP, Zakhele Mbhele, said in a statement that Nhleko’s comments on Wednesday were "bizarre and emblematic of a Cabinet who will go to any length to protect President Zuma even after he has long thrown them under the bus and hung them out to dry".
Mbhele said he would be submitting parliamentary questions to "ascertain just how much this report cost the taxpayer, over and above the costs already incurred by them in the building of the president’s homestead at Nkandla".
"It would appear that Minister Nhleko is intent on defending his report to the death and in so doing must provide the nation with the full details of how much the investigation and subsequent report cost ordinary South Africans who would’ve benefited from that money, had it been redirected to efforts that would have made their communities safer and resourced an over-stretched SAPS," he said.